A human smuggling ring was underway in Austin, Texas. The victims were illegal aliens, taken from their home country without their consent. Human smugglers were holding them ransom until family members paid exorbitant smuggling fees. Across the country, a violent MS-13 gang member, who was in the country illegally, was living and working near Silver Spring, Md. Phone calls to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tip Line helped dismantle the human smuggling ring and led to the arrest of the gang member.
The ICE HSI Tip Line wouldn't have successes like these without the public's assistance. Last year, nearly 172,500 people reported tips to ICE HSI by calling (866) DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423). On the receiving end, a team of special agents, intelligence research specialists and law enforcement specialists man the phones. They are all highly trained in a number of laws related to worksite enforcement, document and benefit fraud, intellectual property rights, money laundering, drug smuggling, child pornography and human trafficking.
The Tip Line expanded its operations at the end of fiscal year 2011 by implementing an online form. Since its launch, more than 1,500 individuals have logged onto ice.gov/tips to report suspicious criminal activity.
"When reporting a crime, a person should report the nature of the crime and be specific and detailed as possible," said David Palmatier, tip line unit chief. "If we have more details, we can more efficiently investigate a tip."
Callers can expect minimal wait times to speak to a tip line specialist. Average phone calls take less than five minutes to complete. The ICE HSI Tip Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Learn more about the ICE HSI Tip Line.